I love the Maldives – the beauty, the peacefulness, the wildlife, the privacy – but mostly the water; the water here is like nowhere else in the world. It’s an overused phrase in these islands, but Amilla Fushi really is paradise, the most idyllic and relaxing place on earth. Some people worry that there’s nothing to do in the Maldives, but I never have a dull moment at this hotel: snorkelling with turtles and sharks, fishing, a boat trip at sunset, all sorts of water sports. Under, over and on that astonishing water, there’s so much going on. Of course, when it comes to eating, the fish here is incredible too. I have sushi at Wok almost every day: spicy yellowfin-tuna sashimi, local reef-fish tempura. But there are lots of lovely places to choose from, including a brilliant restaurant from Australian chef Luke Mangan. I love the variety. Amilla Fushi was co-founded by innovative businessman Tom McLoughlin, and he’s everything that makes his hotels great: generous, with great taste and amazing ideas. There’s none of the usual thatched villas and Robinson Crusoe castaway vibe here; instead, there are sharp, modern houses as white as the sand on the beaches.
Our smiley butler Saddam is so fabulous I always want to pack him up in my suitcase and take him home. Or even better, just stay here forever, drinking Piña Coladas on the beach and looking out across the infinite blue water from the deck of our home on stilts. That’s the dream.